Good read

WHETHER YOU’RE NEW TO THE SELL­ING SCENE, OR JUST HAVEN’T DONE IT IN PER­SON BE­FORE, CHRIST­MAS IS THE BEST TIME TO MEET CUS­TOMERS AND MAKE AN IM­PACT

Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words: KAREN DUNN

How to sell your makes this Christ­mas

So your craft­ing game is on top form and you’re ready to get your makes out there – now what? If you’ve never stood be­hind a mar­ket stall or set up shop on­line be­fore, the idea of fac­ing an army of Christ­mas shop­pers can be daunt­ing. There’s no need to let nerves hold you back from mak­ing the most of fes­tive sales though – all sell­ers were once new­bies, and with De­cem­ber right around the cor­ner, there’s no bet­ter time to find buy­ers who are on the hunt for unique gifts like yours.

LET YOUR BRAND SHINE

If you want to start sell­ing, how do you find that cus­tomer who wants to shun the big boys and buy di­rectly from the maker? Firstly, think about what your best sell­ers and most pop­u­lar creations are, then fig­ure out who would be buy­ing them as gifts, and use so­cial me­dia to find them.

“Peo­ple buy from peo­ple, and you’re what makes your prod­uct unique,” points out Leona Thriftola, who runs The Roller Coaster of Run­ning an Indie Busi­ness ( www.face­book.com/theindieroller­coaster). “Video is an ex­cel­lent way to bring it to life and let your cus­tomer get to know you, the hu­man be­hind the busi­ness. Share be­hind-the-scenes peeks and tell your cus­tomer why your prod­uct will make their life bet­ter.”

Leona rec­om­mends shar­ing your videos on In­sta­gram Sto­ries and IGTV, “or do a live Q&A on Face­book. Find out who your cus­tomer is by ask­ing ques­tions that’ll make them feel in­volved. It doesn’t cost a penny, ei­ther!”

Tak­ing the things you’ve lov­ingly made out into the wild can be nerve-wrack­ing, but ex­cit­ing too. Make sure your per­son­al­ity and val­ues shine through in ev­ery­thing, from how you pro­mote your­self to the smaller touches like pack­ag­ing. The key is to make it both mean­ing­ful and mem­o­rable. “Cre­ate the things you love and find cus­tomers like you!” en­thuses creative busi­ness owner Michelle Lan­stone of Aun­tie Mims ( www.aun­tiemims.com).

When it comes to se­lect­ing prod­ucts, Michelle has a few point­ers: “While it’s bet­ter to set your own trends, it’s worth look­ing at so­cial me­dia to see what’s likely to be big this Christ­mas.” Maybe your prod­ucts suit the Kitschmas look – items with a nos­tal­gic, retro feel – or cre­ate new tra­di­tions. Michelle sug­gests do­ing your re­search, then think­ing about how you can “of­fer some­thing on trend, but also unique.” And, don’t for­get that if you’re per­son­al­is­ing your prod­ucts, you’ll need to give your­self enough time to com­plete your or­ders. “Find sup­pli­ers who can re­act quickly, so you don’t have to hold lots of ex­pen­sive stock,” ad­vises Michelle. “Also, know when to stop. No­body likes grumpy cus­tomers whose or­ders aren’t ful­filled!”

MAKE A STAND

You’ve sorted your so­cial me­dia, set up your on­line sell­ing page, and things are look­ing good, but there’s noth­ing bet­ter than meet­ing your cus­tomers face-to-face. Christ­mas is the best time to get out there and try a craft mar­ket, so you can share your makes in real life. After all, cus­tomers are more likely to buy when they can see it for them­selves.

While big­ger events may al­ready be booked up, there’ll still be plenty of smaller lo­cal events to sign up for – ideal for a first book­ing. “Try to find out as much as pos­si­ble about pre­vi­ous events run by the same or­gan­is­ers, so you can de­cide if it’s suit­able for your work,” says Sinead Koehler of Crafty Fox Mar­ket ( www.crafty­fox­mar­ket.co.uk). “Ask fel­low lo­cal mak­ers about which events they found to be suc­cess­ful, although re­mem­ber what works for one seller might not work for an­other, so find out who goes.”

Once you’ve taken the first step, you’ll need to think about the stall it­self, show­ing off your makes to their max­i­mum po­ten­tial. Sinead’s top tips are to “plan the lay­out care­fully in ad­vance, pay­ing at­ten­tion to the space avail­able. Try to build some height too, so it stands out.” And, you’ll also need to think about the colours and dis­play. “Cre­ate a co­he­sive look that matches your on­line shop. Also, pay at­ten­tion to sig­nage and make sure all your items are clearly priced.”

If you don’t have huge sales on the day, don’t worry too much – it’s about get­ting your­self out there and mak­ing con­nec­tions with shop­pers and fel­low mak­ers too. Bear in mind that a lot of on­line re­tail of­ten hap­pens di­rectly after events, so get those busi­ness cards at the ready and your on­line shop stocked up for those post-mar­ket sales.

And, the most im­por­tant thing of all? En­joy your­self. One of the loveli­est things about sell­ing your makes in per­son is the amount of com­pli­ments you’ll get about your work. While sales might seem like the end goal, a gen­uine ‘ooh’ is al­ways go­ing to make that hard work and ef­fort worth­while.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.